CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With rising COVID-19 cases in Nueces County public health director Annette Rodriguez and Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales addressed the public in a news conference Friday, giving updates on the cases in Nueces county.
They said only 40 percent of the county is vaccinated, meaning 60 percent of residents are not vaccinated at all.
They said those rates are resulting in higher COVID-19 case numbers, saying they started climbing in late June and early July.
The week of June 13 the county reported 206 cases. The week of June 20 there was a slight increase to 212 cases. The week of June 27, those numbers dipped to 162 cases.
However, the week of the Fourth of July there were 200 cases and the week of July 11 there was a 100 percent increase to 400 cases. The week of July 18, there were 501 cases.
During the month of June, the county averaged about 30 hospitalizations per day due to COVID-19. But that number increased to 41 per day on July 8. Just yesterday the hospitalization rate increased to 77 per day.
Rodriguez also said that 166 people in the county that got vaccinated still contracted COVID-19.
“What happens is we get really anxious to start visiting right away and so while it’s a very very small sample size, maybe what it tells us is, instead of waiting two weeks and taking off your mask and feeling like it’s safe, maybe just wait those two months,” Rodriguez said.
Canales said about 40 percent of Texas is vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the nation. She said about 70 percent of senior citizens in Nueces County are vaccinated and 12-18-year-olds are doing well getting vaccinated as well, but the rest of the age groups are lagging behind.
She said she’s hoping people will take advantage of the free COVID-19 vaccinations at La Palmera Mall and urged unvaccinated people to get the vaccine.
“Your best defense is an offense and what is that offense? It’s a vaccine," Canales said. "I want to be in control of my life. How about you? Get vaccinated today."
Canales urged people to follow the CDC’s guidelines when it comes to mask-wearing. That is, that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks.
“The hardest thing for me as a judge is knowing how far we’ve come and to really be concerned again that we could lose it all,” Canales said.
The County announced Friday that they are bringing back the free COVID-19 testing sites as cases rise.
Canales said she wants to be as honest and transparent as possible when it comes to informing the public about how the virus is affecting the county’s health.
“Let’s save our businesses, let’s save our community and our loved ones by being informed and by sharing this information,” she said.
Nueces County has sent over about nine samples of the Delta -variant gene-sequencing specimen to DSHS and it takes about a month to get it back.
They also sent specimens to Texas Tech in Lubbock and it will take about two weeks for them to come back.